‘Essential Articles Control Act’ to Control Prices of Items Essential to treat COVID: Kerala Government

The Kerala government fixed the prices of healthcare equipment used in the diagnosis of COVID-19, including PPE kits, N95 caps, face shields, and hand sanitizers, under the Kerala Essential Articles Control Act, 1986. 

The Kerala Essential Articles Control Act, 1986, was invoked by the Food and Civil Supplies Department, along with a Central government advisory to ensure the supply of healthcare items at decent prices.

According to a tweet from the Chief Minister’s office, the state government used the Kerala Essential Articles Control Act, 1986 to reduce prices on items medication to prevent COVID-19.

The Government ruled that a PPE kit must not cost more than Rs 273 and a N95 mask must not cost more than Rs 22. A pulse oximeter will therefore cost less than Rs 1,500. Private hospitals with a National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) can charge Rs 2,910 per day for the overall ward, whereas those without a NABH can charge Rs 2,645 per day, according to the order. Hospitals will charge Rs 3,795 (non-NABH) and Rs 4,175 (NABH) per day for the High Dependency Unit (HDU).

The government has taken this measure to combat black marketing and profiteering, and the order was given in consideration of the rising number of COVID cases across the nation. The decision is in accordance with the Indian government’s directive to state authorities to take the reasonable steps to ensure that medical items are widely available at reasonable and affordable prices.

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